Is RN to BSN Worth It? 9 Reasons to Consider Advancing Your Nursing Education

 BSN You’ve been working as a registered nurse (RN) for a while now and your experience has only solidified your passion for the job. You love the fact that you get to truly help people—and even when the shifts are tough, you know your work is meaningful.

There are so many reasons nurses invest so much of themselves in their work. And there are so many reasons nurses decide to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Everything from passion for learning, potential for career advancement and interest in nursing leadership is on the table when it comes to continued nursing education.

Going from RN to BSN can be intimidating, which is why you probably have some questions. Will I be able to juggle school and work? Is going from RN to BSN worth the extra investment? What will change when I have my BSN?

Even without a crystal ball, we can still safely say there are plenty of benefits to furthering your education as a nurse. But discovering if this is a good move for you will be a more personal journey. To help you make the best decision possible, we connected with some nursing pros to identify nine advantages for RNs who choose to pursue a BSN.

9 Reasons why you should consider an RN to BSN program

1. You’ll qualify for more jobs

The nursing field is on the rise, with employment of registered nurses projected to grow 12 percent through 2028, a rate much faster than the national average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).1 However, the BLS also notes that while the industry is opening more nursing jobs each year, nursing students are also increasing, keeping the job pool competitive.

As the aging baby boomer generation grows to need more medical care, nurses will likely be called upon in greater number than ever before.1 The BLS notes that in the fray, BSN nurses will have better job prospects. BSN nurses with experience working in the field or with certification in specialty areas should have the best chances of all.

That extra edge can be the difference between working in the location you want or for the employer you prefer.

2. You may have higher earning potential

Our nursing experts agree that generally speaking, the higher the nursing credential you receive, the more earning potential you could have. And since many healthcare systems are incentivized to hire BSN nurses, many employers offer more competitive salaries at that level of education.

Deborah Carlson, RN, BSN, BST and director of nursing at Boynton Health Service, says many hospitals pay higher salaries to nurses with a BSN. This earning potential could also increase throughout your career if you choose to advance to leadership positions.

“The BSN will also figure into decisions about promotions and professional growth,” says Wendie A. Howland, seasoned nurse and owner of Howland Health Consulting. As your experience and expertise grow, opportunities for leadership, specialty work and management can grow too—coming with new job titles and increased salary opportunity.

3. It can open doors for your career

You probably enrolled in nursing school to become a nurse, but there are many different nursing specialties you can pursue once you have some experience under your belt. Certain specialty positions—like a nurse anesthetist, nurse educator or case management nurse—require you to have a BSN at minimum.

“BSN degrees are preferred for most nursing positions, especially in specialty areas,” says Holly Mancini, instructor at Rasmussen University School of Nursing. “Nurses that are starting out in specialty areas such as critical care, emergency nursing, wound care and so on need a wider knowledge base to perform their jobs efficiently and effectively.” The chance to devote more time to what you love about the job is a huge potential benefit of the BSN.

Plus, if do you have any ambitions of moving into a leadership position—like a becoming a Nurse manager—a BSN will eventually be necessary.

4. Courses are flexible

Many RN to BSN programs are offered online. Since these programs cater to working nurses, whose schedules are unpredictable, they are designed with a ton of flexibility in mind.

Many of these online courses will allow you to participate in the discussion, lectures and assignments within certain time frames. If you can’t be online until night time, or if you have to do your coursework in the morning before your shift begins—many programs are organized to accommodate that. Rasmussen University’s RN to BSN program, for example, is offered in a fully online, competency-based format, which allows students to control the pace of how they tackle their coursework—if they know they have a busy stretch in their schedules, they can choose to work ahead during times where their schedules are more accommodating. This added flexibility helps make it easier to balance a busy work and school schedule.

5. They can be completed as few as 12 to 18 months

You may be surprised to hear you can complete an RN to BSN nursing program in as few as 12 to 18 months.2 There’s no need to wait years and years to take the next step in your career—you can knock this work out in relatively short order.

“These programs are primarily online classes, which provide the flexibility and convenience that working nurses need,” says Rasmussen University Nursing instructor Dina Waltz.

6. It will round out your skill set

Unlike Associate’s degree-level Nursing courses, which focus heavily on hands-on clinical skills, your RN to BSN courses will help you acquire a more holistic understanding of nursing.

“Through the BSN program, the ADN nurse will learn more about leadership roles and community health, which is all valuable knowledge when advancing in the nursing field,” Mancini says.

The curriculum is designed to sharpen your leadership skills and develop communication and problem-solving abilities that can help you excel in the workplace.

“Nurses who go back to school for their BSN learn the ‘Why?’ of what they are doing instead of just how to do it,” Carlson says. She finds these nurses have better assessment skills and know how to delegate, manage and develop others.


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